There are many reasons that thousands of individuals take cruises to popular vacation hot spots each year. One of those reasons is that cruises are all-inclusive. Passengers don’t have to worry about booking a hotel, making restaurant reservations or coming up with things to do. It’s all done for them. What you often don’t hear much about on the news though is just how dangerous cruise ships can be.
A Market Watch report published just last year suggested that a staggering number of cruise ships failed safety and health inspections. Another report showed that as many as three passengers per week die on cruise ships.
The website Cruise Ship Deaths suggests that most of these deaths occur because of natural causes. Murder, overdoses or suicides account for many of them as well. In just the last 18 years alone, more than 300 cruise ship passengers have died when they went overboard.
Maritime laws require all ships to carry body bags on them. They’re also required to have morgues so that bodies can be stored until the ship makes it back to port.
Injuries on cruise ships are common too. In fact, a report published by a research firm called G.P. Wild showed that as many as 60 ship passengers are hurt each year because of what they describe as operational mishaps. This category includes a boat sinking, explosions, fires, passengers getting stranded or collisions.
Passengers on cruise ships are also vulnerable to becoming ill. One of the most common types of sickness that passengers develop is gastrointestinal illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 130,000 cruisegoers experienced some type of gastrointestinal problem in between 2008 and 2014.
Data from the CDC also shows that one in every 10 cruise ship passengers is vulnerable to coming down with a gastrointestinal illness. Most get them from consuming food that’s not fresh.
Those who are injured or become ill while aboard private ships have as long as three years to file a case against the cruise liner for negligence. Those who are hurt or become sick while out to sea on a government ship may only have 18 months to file. Attorney John W. Merting of the Law Offices of John W. Merting can advise you on whether your injury or illness qualifies you to file a claim and what statute of limitations applies in your case.